Bluegrass Music: It’ll Cure What Ails You

        It was a great 48 hours in Nashville.  I just couldn’t be gone a week.  It was our first full week in the new office and they wanted the senior partner (the one with the most gray hair) around.

       This morning Joe greeted me at the back door.  “Got you some muskee-dines, Doc.  You ain’t gonna go be one of them bluegrass stars are ya?”

        “No, Joe.  Trust me. These guys are good.  I wouldn’t have a chance.  Besides, Doc is all I know.”


        I went into my office and set my briefcase down.  A picture of Lester and Earl hangs on my wall right across from my desk at the five foot mark.  (for the lady of the house’s eye level; my wife.)  Lester was up to his ears in charts and messages; a bad sign.  All I could see was his hat and a bit of his Martin guitar headstock.  Les is a very accuate predictor of your day.  Anything beyond his chest is gonna rock. 

          It was a “Doc, my bowels are locked up and my nature’s done left me” kind of day.  I didn’t see Lester’s eyeballs till near lunch.  There were several emergencies and one unstable myocardial ischemia.  (light heart attack)  Almost everyone was somewhere in between lonely, tired, mad, scared, or hurting.  I did my best to sort through it all. 

        I never tell a woman’s age, but one nice lady in triple digits asked if it would be too much trouble to get a flu shot.  I coulda hugged her neck.

        Don’t feel sorry for me.  It’s just my job.  Everyone on the other end of the stethoscope was worse off than me.  Say a prayer for them.  I am lucky the Lord gave more stamina than what I deserve and the right temperament to deal with it all. 

        And it isn’t that hard.  It sure ain’t rocket science.  The sound man for Sam Bush has a more technical job than I do.  The cat runs three computers and rack full of EQ technology to tweak the boss’s sound.  His is more than rocket science; it is more like quantum mechanics mixed with magic.  He is obsessed to get the best sound possible.  Of course, he has a lot to work with.  Tiger Wood’s swing coach does pretty good too.

       I got ten minutes at lunch and downed a sandwich and played a few bars of “Who Will Sing for Me?”  I was told several folks in Nashville did so today.  In spite of all the suffering I could hear the music.  Every one of you who has ever played a note of this music has saved a day for me somewhere along the way. 

        Good luck to all of you at the Awards Ceremony.  If it was up to me it be like a middle school soccer game where every one of you would win.  You all deserve it.  Even though I gotta keep doctoring, I plan to lead as many folks to our music as possible.  It sustains me and I want my people to be as blessed as I have been all my life because of it.

        When I got home a book I had wanted was on my desk.  One of my bluegrass pals had called my wife to see if I had it yet, and had it sent to the house.  It was Jill Bolte Taylor’s ‘My Stroke of Insight.’  What a nice surprise; a new book after a tough day.  Bluegrass folks are the best.  I’m gonna read it this weekend.

        While y’all are singing, how ’bout doing one for my heart attack patient?  She needs it more than I do, and I think y’all might just cure what ails her.  Bluegrass has a way of doing that.

        Gotta run.  Will try to catch part of the Awards Ceremony.  All the best guys.

Dr. B

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2 Comments on “Bluegrass Music: It’ll Cure What Ails You”

  1. Martin Waddell Says:

    Belatedly catching up with some of your earlier posts – loved this one about the curative properties of bluegrass. Don’t know much about that myself, but I do know about how therapeutic music generally can be. Once, as a neurotic, angst-ridden teenager, I came home feeling really, really down about something, and I put one of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos on the record player – instant therapy courtesy of good old Johann Sebastian. Music – be it Bach, Brahms, bluegrass, BB King or whatever – really is one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind. Beats me how some religions (eg some versions of Islam or Scottish Presbyterianism) are suspicious of it. It does us all so much good.

    • drtombibey Says:


      I agree. If it weren’t for music I am afraid I could not have dealt with all the terrible things I see as a doc.

      Dr. B

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